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Old 03-16-2006, 04:32 PM   #45
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
Doesn't this apply to the dojo/instructor/aikido practitioner as well. Here, life throws a man who doesn't want to train with women, at you. Your answer seems to be to not deal with it.
I have had women enquire who expressly refuse to train with men. I run a small class, mostly young males 8-17. My wife is the only female on the mat. The choice is theirs. 10 out of 10 they don't show up.

Isn't that exactly what you are proposing? His religion is part of the package - so he can't train? We won't discriminate on religion, as long as you don't actually live according to your religion?
Nor do I discriminate on any criteria. You come to train in a martial art. Sex, race, color, creed, social status has nothing to do with what we are training in. David's post echos my intention - albeit better. I am just having some difficulty saying this in a more "politically correct" fashion.

I think it probably does apply to other contact sports and martial arts as well. That's not the point. The point is, as an aikido practitioner, are you going to deal with what life throws at you, or are you going to argue that what life throws at you has to change first before you are willing to deal with it?
In other words, this man's religion is wrong? And that's the argument for not letting him train?
I don't think I ever said that. All I'm suggesting is, deferrment to higher spiritual directives (along the lines of what Mark Freeman said) as an excuse for requiring accommodation is irrelevant to the training itself. He can take it whichever way he wants. I'm not saying his religion is wrong. Nor am I saying that he cannot train.

His parameter for training is to train with males only. And my parameters for training is you get to train with whoever is on the mat. Whether he trains or not, is his choice.

Big difference to what you're reading into what I'm saying.

As an aside, the laws regarding opposite sex contact is exactly the point that David raised. The argument is the same as the religious law pertaining to alcohol. Deferrment to higher spiritual directives is merely insurance against the potential for temptation, as opposed to exercising self-control - which is what martial arts is really about. Whether that's right or wrong is largely irrelevant - martial arts (in the true sense of the word) and war does not discriminate, and neither do I.

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